In late 2018, a close friend of mine tragically lost her cousin to gun violence. The unexpected, brutal death of her 16-year-old family member turned her world upside down, and as she grieved the loss of one of her favorite people, she started to feel as though God stopped answering her prayers.
She felt abandoned, and in her difficult time, she stopped believing. The Biblical teachings she once turned to for wisdom and comfort became passages she no longer trusted. I witnessed a drastic change in my friend’s faith, and although I could not order her how to feel or think, I wanted to gently remind her of the power, wisdom, grace and love God provides us, especially in our darkest hour.
When faith and fleshly feelings intersect, there are two directions a person can go — their feelings may intensify so they exhibit more love, faith and mercy, thus leading them closer to God, or they completely back away from their faith due to disappointment and sadness, thus abandoning the Father they once loved and trusted. No matter which path a person chooses, He made us to love others. God loves us no matter what, and since we are made in His image, we must love anyway, too.
Love is a powerful tool and so is prayer: “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us” (1 John 5:14). When your loved one stops believing and you’d like to help them find their way back to their faith, keep that person in your prayers. No matter what you say to change someone’s mind, and no matter how convincing you may think you are, God is the only one who can shift someone’s mind and heart.
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Read more at What to do when your loved one stops believing in God.